Published: Monday, 20th February 2023
More than £3 million of investment in projects to support communities and businesses is planned by the Borough Council, and applications for funding will open soon.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Rural England Prosperity Fund will provide targeted funding over the next two years to support projects that build pride in place, develop skills, enhance employment opportunities, increase productivity or improve community services.
Cllr Graham Middleton, the borough council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for business, culture and heritage, said:
“West Norfolk is a wonderful borough that is full of opportunities – and I’m delighted Cabinet approved the priorities for how this funding will be allocated to help our people, places and businesses to fulfil their potential.
“Between these two funds there is enormous variety to the types of projects and sectors that can be supported so this presents a chance for people with good ideas to get funding for their schemes.”
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will invest in aspirational projects that have the potential to make a positive change around the borough. Applications will open at the end February for capital and/or revenue funding of £500-£10,000 in three main areas:
- Innovation in the arts, cultural, heritage and creative sector
- Enhancements to the character and vibrancy of town centres
- Sustainable development of the borough’s year-round visitor offer
The fund will accept applications from the public and private sector and from businesses and organisations of any size.
Rural England Prosperity Funding will provide capital investment for new and existing rural businesses to develop new products and facilities, or to support new and improved community infrastructure that will benefit the wider local economy. Funding approval is awaited from government but it is anticipated this will open for applications in the spring. It will support:
- Funding for small scale investment in micro and small enterprises in rural areas
- Grants for the development and promotion of the visitor economy
- Active travel enhancements in the local rural area e.g. creating/upgrading footpaths and cycleways
- Capacity building and infrastructure support for local civil society and community groups
- Supporting impactful volunteering and social action projects e.g. purchase of equipment, premises and improvements to enable groups to operate.
In addition to the above grant programmes, the Council has agreed to allocate part of the available funding to develop new initiatives and continue existing and highly valuable activities and services, working with our partners to support west Norfolk residents and businesses including;
- Guildhall & Creative Hub Activity Programme
- Volunteering recruitment and training
- Community Energy Saving scheme
- Feasibility studies for improvements to West Lynn Ferry and Baxters Plain
- Go Digital support for businesses
- New Anglia Growth Hub – providing business support, advice, guidance and grants
- Community cycle clubs and hub schemes
The total allocation of funds is just over £3.3million and the borough council is the lead local authority for delivering the investment on behalf of HM Government and is responsible for administering the scheme. Funding priorities have been identified through consultation and engagement with stakeholders, businesses and communities.
More information can be found on our West Norfolk Shared Prosperity Fund page.